Push the dough down and set the ball out on a floured board. Cut into 18 or 20 pieces. Shape by rolling each into a tight ball between the palms and make the hole by indenting through the center with your thumbs. Continue to shape the bagel until an egg could pass easily through the hole. Flour the bottom of the bagels to prevent sticking and set them on pans lined with tea towels. Keep them spread out. Let rise about 30 minutes in a warm oven until they double in size. While the bagels are rising, bring a large soup pot of water to a rolling boil.
After bagels rise, drop into pot of water and boil on each side for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from water and bake on nonstick pans for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool on a rack, if you can wait. Yields 18 to 20 bagels.
- recipe courtesy of Dr. M. Douglas Becker
Here are some tips from Dr. M. Douglas Becker on making bagels:
Preparing the dough:
Roll dough on a nonstick surface.
The dough also can be used to make bread, pizza or bread sticks, but don't boil it before baking. It also can be prepared in a breadmaker.
Be patient if you're new to baking, as it takes time to get the feel of the dough.
Becker's Grandma Jettie Cohen made Krakow-style bagels, which featured a long, thin strip of dough that was looped, tied and pinched together, leaving a big hole in the center.
Becker prefers to make New Haven-style bagels, which are more round and uniform.
Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar to the water before boiling bagels. This glazes them and gives a shiny crust.
The poaching process stops the dough from rising.
Bagels can be frozen, or kept in a breadbox for two or three days.
Storing the bagels usually isn't a problem, Becker says.
"Fresh bagels are so tasty that they don't stay around for long," he says.